The Red Lion Great Sausage Roll Off is back for 2014

After the success of the inaugural event last January, Claire Morgan & Angus McKean of The Red Lion, Barnes are hosting their second “Great Sausage Roll Off” on January 28. The contest is a simple one, an invitation to chefs from London and beyond to create the ultimate sausage roll.

Once again, the competition will be expertly compered by good friend and local of The Red Lion, beer and food writer Melissa Cole. Last year’s competition saw some chefs using rather ambitious flavour combinations and others using luxury ingredients such as truffles, lobster and even mackerel.
The more outlandish creations were given the thumbs-down by judges Kate Spicer of The Sunday Times, MasterChef judge and writer Charles Campion and chef and restaurateur Johnny Mountain. To the shame of the English chefs competing, the trophy for this most British of delicacies was carried off by a Frenchman.

This year the competition boasts MasterChef winners both amongst the competitors and the judges, with returning head judge Charles Campion being joined by celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner. Tim Anderson, the 2011 MasterChef winner who is now running Japanese restaurant NanBan, will be one of the contestants vying to wrench the trophy from the hands of its current holder, The Masons Arms in Battersea.

Completing the line up of expert judges are National Chef of the year Hayden Groves and food blogger Danny Kingston aka Food Urchin.

Other confirmed entrants are prestigious pubs such as The Wykenham Arms in Winchester , The Bull in Highgate, Chef Paul Merrett’s The Victoria in East Sheen, The Malt House in Fulham, The newly opened Running Horse in Mayfair, The Cricketers in Hartley Wintney and Salt Yard’s Famous Opera Tavern to name a few.

Angus McKean commented: “Everyone loves a sausage roll – and last year’s selection was a combination of delicious, interesting and, quite frankly, just odd.  I’m hoping for more of the same this year.

“I’m very proud of our food in the Red Lion and it’s an inspiring experience to allow other chefs on to my turf to fight it out for Britain’s most superb sausage roll.”

What promises to be a very enjoyable evening will start at 7pm and spectators will be able to sample some sausage rolls from each competing chef as they emerge from the kitchen. There’s no need for tickets – just turn up to grab a spot.

For more information contact, georgina.wald@fullers.co.uk – 02089962198 or allie.hunter@fullers.co.uk – 02089962175 and follow the conversation on Twitter #RollOff

The Princes Trust deliver great hospitality programmes

The Prince’s Trust is delivering a Get into Hospitality programme in Central Bedfordshire, as well as a Get into Cooking programme in Padstow. This programme will recruit people between the ages of 16- 25 who are passionate about developing a career within the industry. They receive two weeks training where they learn all about the hospitality sector whilst developing key skills, such as, communication, team working, confidence building and other key skills that support them in the role.

The programme offers employers-

  • Support recruiting the right young people. We have a recruitment team who spend a lot of time working with employers to identify young people who may lack the confidence to go straight into employment. The programme develops them so they are work ready.
  • They complete relevant qualifications to support them in the role.
  • They receive six months follow up support.
  • Off the back of coming onto our programme the employer has a committed member of staff who is keen to prove themselves.
  • If you can offer two week work placements you can ‘try before you buy.’

It would be great to hear from employers who can offer work placement opportunities, there is no commitment to offer the young people employment but if they do well it would be great if the organisations could keep them in mind for future positions.

For further information on the Get into Hospitality programme please contact Aimee on 07717 686 491- aimee.stein@princes-trust.org.uk

For further information on the Get into Cooking programme please contact Shelly on 01752 521051 – shelly.rodgers@princes-trust.org.uk

British cooking revolution celebrated with launch of prestigious ‘Chef Stagiaire award’

An inspiring new experience launching in January 2014, the Chef Stagiaire Award seeks to uncover the cream of the new wave of young chef talent currently emerging as the British cooking revolution continues apace. Entrants are all aiming to win the ultimate experience of Stages in some of the finest kitchens in the world.

Twenty of the most innovative entrants will battle it out in the Chef Stagiaire Award, each one taking part in a 1 week Stage at one of twenty of the most highly acclaimed restaurants in the UK [details below]

2 finalists will emerge who will go head to head in the final Stage at 2 Michelin star ‘Dinner by Heston Blumenthal’ at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London, where Executive Chef of The Fat Duck Group, Ashley Palmer Watts, will judge them both on technique, attitude and ability throughout the 1 week Stage.

The winner will undertake an unforgettable prize of an all expenses paid, 2 week trip to work with the pioneering  Dominique Crenn, the first female American Chef to be awarded 2 Michelin stars, at her ‘Atelier Crenn’ restaurant in San Francisco before flying on to the immense Six Senses ‘Zighy Bay Resort’ in Oman, voted Best Restaurant in the Middle East 2012, for a further 2 weeks of creative cooking as well as enjoying the opulent accommodation.

An elite team of widely celebrated British Judges will form the panel to assess the initial paper applications which shortlist the entrants down to the final 20;

•             James Mackenzie of The Pipe & Glass, Yorkshire [1 Michelin Star]

•             Richard Turner of Turners, Birmingham [1 Michelin Star]

•             Robert Kirby, Chef Director of Lexington Catering, London [Cateys Chef of the Year 2013]

For more information click here or alternatively you can call 0800 012 6949 or email awards@chefstagiaire.com

 

Caterer.com are proud to support the British Hospitality & Tourism Summit

Caterer.com are proud to support the British Hospitality & Tourism Summit, which takes place on Thursday 5th June 2014 at the Novotel London West.

The British Hospitality & Tourism Summit has established itself as the premier agenda-setting diary date for senior Hospitality & Tourism professionals. The Summit in 2013 was the biggest yet and strengthened our industry’s call to government and partners – to unite British Hospitality & Tourism leaders, across the entire UK. The Summit unites the British Hospitality & Tourism industry bringing together senior leaders from all leading organisations including airlines, hotels, restaurants, entertainments, sports, energy, tourism and hospitality.

The Summit in 2014 will build upon the progress already made and demonstrate that Hospitality & Tourism touches upon every UK industry.

This event aims to provide delegates with a wider business understanding, along with engaging and informing hospitality professionals by sharing and discussing key issues which the industry is facing. To attend the Summit there is a fee of £500 for Non BHA members. If you are a BHA member you will receive a £250 discount.

Register now to secure your place!

Caterer Breakfast Forums – A post by Roy Walker, National Account Manager, Caterer.com

This week saw another round of my Caterer Breakfast Forums where key figures involved in hospitality recruitment meet to discuss the challenges faced by employers in relation to attraction, recruitment, training and retention of hospitality employees. These are held in an informal environment in small groups with up to 8 people at each Forum so the attendees can shape the conversation applying the topics to their businesses and get to know piers in the industry at a personal level. My most recent sessions were on 3rd and 4th December at Dean Street Townhouse – where they do a great breakfast!

These particular sessions focussed on a recovering economy with a hospitality industry expanding exponentially resulting in an inevitable shrinking talent pool. How are hospitality employers going to overcome an increasing skill shortage in the market in 2014? Over the two days representatives from Carluccio’s, Zizzi, Nobu, Cote Restaurants, D&D London, The Restaurant Group, Caprice Holdings, Bill’s Restaurants, Elior UK, Byron, KFC and Greene King attended.

Many topics were discussed including Apprenticeships and how hospitality can give back to society by simply being a means to a job for young people and on the other hand how Apprenticeships can be the start of a career path to those actively passionate about hospitality. With 60% of hospitality candidates saying that career progression is the number 1 reason for applying for jobs; to become an employer of choice businesses must use training and structured progression plans as a means of attracting talent and retaining talent. A big topic was how individual employers could be more open to “wildcard” candidates who may not be the “ideal candidate” on paper but have the soft skills to succeed – recruiting for culture and training for skill. On a more general level hospitality as a whole needs to do more to attract talent into our industry to make it appealing as a serious career – not just a part time job ¬–  by getting into schools, colleges and universities more. We like to keep it real at these events too though – it’s not just about the wider industry challenges; attendees share thoughts about everyday issues such as ATS systems, overtime pay, incentives and much more.

The Caterer.com Breakfast Forums will return in 2014. If you would like to get involved please let me know.

Follow me on Twitter: @Roy_caterer and follow the conversation #CatererBreakfast

 

South West Chef of the Year 2013 winners are announced at 10th Anniversary Presentation Dinner

The 2013 winners of South West Chef of the Year competition were announced on Monday 28th October at the 10th anniversary presentation dinner hosted and sponsored by Exeter Golf and Country Club.

Nathan Cornwell from Lucknam Park, Bath, has been crowned the prestigious title of overall South West Chef of the Year 2013 after also winning the Young Professional Class.  Andy Chan from Thornbury Castle, Bristol, was awarded the crown in the Professional Class, beating five other hopefuls to the finish line in a year which saw the highest number of entrants and of an exceptional standard.

Finalists were invited to Exeter College where they were provided with a mystery box of ingredients and given a specified time to prepare two dishes using its contents.  Nathan Cornwell prepared roast loin of venison, squash purée, Savoy greens, red wine shallots, blackberries and girolles, followed by milk chocolate panna cotta, poached pears, chocolate powder and caramelised walnuts.  Andy Chan cooked pan-fried Sea Bass, sautée girolles, roasted celeriac and vanilla velouté, followed by dark chocolate millefeuille, raspberries, hazelnuts and honeycomb which saw them crowned winners of the 2013 classes.

The winners of two further classes were also announced at the presentation dinner.  The Junior class for aspiring young chefs aged 11-16 was won by Maia English of The King’s School, Ottery St Mary Devon who prepared caramelized Brixham scallops with celeriac purée and crispy pancetta; and the winner of the South West’s Best Dish class for home cooks was Steve Ashworth of Taunton, Somerset, who cooked chicken and potato pie with kale, cider braised carrots and beetroot.

Four further awards were presented on the night:
Best Use of Regional Produce – awarded to Beverley Milner Simonds, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset

Best Menu – awarded to Nathan Cornwell, Lucknam Park, Bath

Best Presentation – awarded to Harriet Pecover, Jack in the Green, Rockbeare

Best Dish – awarded to Camilla Waite, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Padstow
for the dessert she prepared at the final of chocolate moelleux, hazelnut crumble and orange

The dinner served at the Presentation Dinner was prepared by three eminent guest chefs all previous winners of the competition: Matthew Downing (Sous Chef at Magdalen Chapter, Exeter), Tom Scade (Head Chef at Tides Restaurant, Rock) and John Walton (Head Chef at Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Padstow).

South West Chef of the Year is renowned for recognising the skill and dedication of professional chefs, up and coming young chefs and amateur cooks. Over the years, the competition has highlighted the very high standards that exist in the hospitality industry in the South West, helping raise the bar for all involved and improve the profitability and sustainability of an industry that is so significant for the region’s economy.

In addition to their skills and experience, the competition enables competitors to demonstrate their understanding of and commitment to the diverse array of high quality ingredients produced in the South West of England whilst simultaneously raising awareness of its diversity and accessibility.

Despite the decision to bring more competitors to the finals, the judges – some of the finest chefs in the South West) still found the task of narrowing entries down an extremely difficult one.  The standard of entries and the menus submitted grows each year as competitors vie for the prestigious and widely recognised title ‘South West Chef of the Year’. Led by Michael Caines MBE, the judging panel also included a number of other top chefs: Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, Mark Hix, Chris and James Tanner, Simon Hulstone, among others.

“We were so impressed with the creativity exhibited by entrants this year in putting together their menus and recipes,” commented Michael Caines MBE. “Entrants put a great deal of thought into their dishes, demonstrating their skill and dedication to creating interesting and balanced menus based on the wonderful array of produce available to them here in the South West. We look forward to see what next year brings!”

Click here for further details.
Follow us on Twitter @SWChefComp

Working collectively as an industry can help to deliver more jobs, says Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association….she explains the logic

In the period between 2010-2012, the British hospitality industry accounted for 27.7% of total UK net jobs growth.  This, let’s remember, was a period of recession, yet in spite of this, the hospitality and tourism industry employs 10% of the UK workforce, equating to over 2.7 million people.  Indeed, Britain’s fourth largest industry, hospitality delivers £53 billion annually to the economy in Gross Value Added (wages and profits).

The secret of our success? Working collectively as an industry; sharing a voice and working towards a common goal.  By acting as a community, key players in the hospitality and tourism sector are making our voice heard, making an impact in government, to other industry sectors, to families planning their holiday and business people looking for a great restaurant or a simple bite to eat.

The newly-launched Campaign for Tourism is a fine example of our industry working together, and demonstrates the impact of a collective voice.

The aim of the campaign is to ensure MPs in all political parties are aware of the huge importance our industry plays in the economy.

The politically-focused Campaign for Tourism, led by the British Hospitality Association, includes 33 representative bodies from all aspects of the tourism industry including the Tourism Alliance and attractions, historic houses, heritage sites, B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, palaces, language schools and destinations.  To launch the Campaign, letters were distributed far and wide, aiming to trigger debate and set out key areas for policy change.    Already letters of support are being received from key political parties.

As the leading agenda-setter of the hospitality and tourism industry, the BHA acts on behalf of a 40,000 strong community of members and we are firm believers in the power of collective action.

Another example of our powerful and vibrant community in action is The Big Hospitality Conversation, the industry’s biggest job creation drive to offer opportunities to unemployed young people in the UK.  New job pledges are made at regional Big Hospitality Conversation events which take place across the UK.  In the past twelve months over 1,200 industry representatives have attended these events.  With support from large leisure and hospitality organisations as well as independent ones, plus support from the Prince’s Trust Business in the Community, these events provide the opportunity to translate a real economic challenge – youth unemployment – into a business challenge.  In a further collaboration, the BHA has partnered with Barclay’s to support our goal of creating 60,000 new jobs in the sector by 2015.  Together, our organisations will use collective power and flagship employability campaigns to help young people get ready for work and find quality apprenticeships and job opportunities.

These are just a snapshot of some of the work being carried out by the BHA on behalf of our industry, members and those working in the catering community but there is always room for new members and new ideas; room for those who interact with hospitality on a daily basis to collaborate for change.  We must always strive for more.  These examples demonstrate that by working together, by pooling our skills, resources and opportunities and focusing on the next generation, the hospitality and tourism industry can and will ultimately achieve the status and recognition it deserves in the UK from the government and all major political parties but ultimately creating jobs for the next generation and beyond.

For further information on becoming a member of our community click here.

Why Invest In Talent? – A post by Mike Williams, People Development Director, De Vere Village Hotels and Urban Resorts

With the continuing need to tighten our organisational belts and reduce costs, employers may ask themselves “do we really need to invest in a talent strategy?”

In my first week at De Vere my Chief Executive asked me to facilitate a plan for business expansion by appointing from within.

At the time, most GM appointments were made from outside the organisation, pushing recruitment costs up and weakening the organisational DNA and culture.  It was clear that a robust talent strategy within our annual people strategy would provide ROI.

To begin, we established what talent looked like within De Vere.  Working closely with the COO we mapped out the top 5 behaviours that underpinned high performance:  commerciality, detailed, driven, inspirational and resilient.

Using an online performance management system, we assessed ‘high performers’ and those with ‘high potential’ by rating all managers against the top 5 behaviours and assessing their potential to progress to a GM position within the next two years. Our top 10% of managers were then invited to attend an assessment day, through which we saw first-hand their performance and potential via a series of exercises specifically designed to review the five behaviours.  We then gave detailed feedback on their areas for development and strengths.

80% of those who attended the assessment day then went on to attend the main programme and a comprehensive series of training days.  Heads of Business each ran sessions on their disciplines,  Stephen Carter OBE (Director of Cameron House Hotel) ran sessions on the link between customer service and employee engagement as did one of our up and coming GMs.  I ran sessions on leadership and networking.  Each person on the programme was appointed a mentor from the executive team and received quarterly reviews with me as well as regular feedback from their line manager.

Early on in the programme we had our first internal GM appointment. This person has performed exceptionally well and shown real determination to succeed.  Over the past three months another three internal candidates on the programme have beaten external candidates to be appointed to take up GM roles within De Vere.

So, back to the original question, why invest in talent?

As a result of the initiative, our recruitment costs are down 80% per annum with 100% return on investment.  Our engagement survey has already shown a 7% increase in leadership and management effectiveness in the last five months.

We now have a real buzz in the organisation about the opportunity for talent to progress, as we have shown direct links between the programme and career progression as well as its compelling commercial returns for the business.  Investing in talent has proven to be a clear win win situation for De Vere.

River Cottage Chef’s School win the Best Recruitment Initiative Award, sponsored by Caterer.com

The hospitality industry turned out in force at the Springboard Awards for Excellence last week, to see who would be crowned winners at this year’s glittering ceremony. Caterer.com sponsor the Best Recruitment Initiative Award, which highlights and rewards the employers who go that extra mile to be the best in the business.

The award, presented by Caterer.com Sales Director Neil Pattison, went to River Cottage Chef’s School, who also took home the New Media Award.

Chris Griffiths, Head of Education at River Cottage Chefs’ School said: “This is a real privilege for us. We’ve only been formed for a year, but delighted to be already making a difference to the youth and unemployed of the South West. We’re all huge advocates of Springboard, so this award is a real honour for the team”.

Anne Pierce, Springboard CEO said of the awards: “After a record number of entries, the judges were set a tough task, not only to go through the sheer volume of entries, but the standard of the entries were  of the highest quality. What a fantastic night of celebration to reward people, organisations and projects that work to raise the profile of the hospitality sector and to attract and retain talent to this great industry.’’

The Winners:

The Springboard Ambassador Award – sponsored by SSP UK

Winner: Joel Fagg (The Puma Hotels’ Collection)

The Best Regional Initiative Award

Winner: Inspired Change Limited

The New Media Award – sponsored by drp Group

Winner: River Cottage Chefs’ School,

The Education Pipeline Award

Winner: Apex Hotels Ltd

Best Student Placement Provider – sponsored by James Hallam

Winner: The Red Carnation Hotel Collection

Best Recruitment Initiative – sponsored by Caterer.com

Winner: River Cottage Chefs’ School

The Young People Award – sponsored by American Express

Winner: The Geoffrey Harrison Foundation

The People Innovation Award – sponsored by LaunchPad Recruits

Winner: Crieff Hydro Limited

Best Chef Strategy – sponsored by HandPicked Hotels

Winner: Hilton Worldwide

Best Management Strategy – sponsored by LifeTime

Winner: Crieff Hydro Limited

Best Food & Beverage Strategy

Winner: Park Plaza County Hall

The Diversity In Employment Award – sponsored by Dunleavy White

Winner: Talkington Bates

Best Career Progression Award – sponsored by LCBT

Winner: Arora Hotel Heathrow

The Retention Award – sponsored by Axminster

Winner: London Marriott Hotel Marble Arch

The Corporate Responsibility Award – sponsored by BonaSystems

Winner: The Brookwood Partnership Limited

Best Employer Award – Charnwood Training

Winner: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons,

The very special Chris Beaumont Special Award – sponsored by 3663

James Thomson OBE

Stephen Clayton, GM, Arora Hotel Heathrow: “Amazed to be shortlisted, astonished to be a winner”.

James Thomson: “ I feel very humble to be recognised by my peers. This is such a room full of talent and to be part of something that celebrates such a great industry is fantastic”.

For more on the awards click here.

Springboard’s Awards for Excellence shortlist revealed after record number of entries

Ahead of the awards ceremony on November 1st at the Novotel London West, Springboard announce the shortlist of entries who are in the running to win a Springboard Award for Excellence 2013.

Commenting, Springboard CEO, Anne Pierce said: “After a record number of entries, the judges were set a tough task, not only to go through the sheer volume of entries, but the quality of the entries were  fantastic. The judging process also brought several things into focus, namely the amount of innovation and passion this industry holds, but also the opportunities people have to work alongside the companies and people recognised with a Springboard Award for Excellence.”

Adding: “I’m looking forward to an amazing night of celebration to acknowledge great individuals and some spectacular achievements from hospitality businesses across the UK.”

The full shortlist:

The Springboard Ambassador Award – sponsored by SSP UK:

Bobby Lennox (Brakes), Joel Fagg (Puma Hotel Collection)

The Best Regional Initiative Award

Marriott Hotels Limited, Inspired Change Limited, City College Norwich

The New Media Award – sponsored by drp Group:

River Cottage Chefs’ School, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

The Education Pipeline Award

Holiday Inn Norwich North, Apex Hotels Ltd

Best Student Placement Provider – sponsored by James Hallam:

The Cavendish London, Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, Park Plaza County Hall, The Goring, Crowne Plaza Docklands, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection

Best Recruitment Initiative – sponsored by Caterer.com:

Ed’s Easy Diner, River Cottage Chefs’ School, Ten out of Ten, Premier Inn, Westminster Cluster

The Young People Award – sponsored by American Express:

Lancaster London, Compass Group UK & Ireland, The Geoffrey Harrison Foundation

The People Innovation Award – sponsored by LaunchPad Recruits:

Crieff Hydro Limited, Accor UK Hotels

Best Chef Strategy – sponsored by HandPicked Hotels:

Caprice Holdings, The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Best Management Strategy – sponsored by LifeTime:

Ten out of Ten, De Vere Hotels and Village Urban Resorts, Crieff Hydro Limited

Best Food & Beverage Strategy

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, BaxterStorey, Park Plaza County Hall

The Diversity In Employment Award – sponsored by Dunleavy White:

Talkington Bates, The Landmark London Hotel

Best Career Progression Award – sponsored by LCBT:

Arora Hotel Heathrow, ASK Italian, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection

The Retention Award – sponsored by Axminster:

London Marriott Hotel Marble Arch, The Brookwood Partnership Limited, PSL.

The Corporate Responsibility Award – sponsored by BonaSystems:

The Brookwood Partnership Limited, Cyrus Todiwala’s Café Spice Namaste, The Landmark London Hotel

Best Employer Award

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons,  Premier Inn, Westminster Cluster, Casna Group

The Brookwood Partnership Ltd

The Chris Beaumont Special Award – sponsored by 3663:

Will be announced on the night

The industry will turn out in force to celebrate a night of successes across the hospitality sector at the Springboard Awards for Excellence – if you’d like to be there, contact the Springboard events team on 020 7529 8610 to get your ticket for the night.

Click here to find out more.

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